“I hit my head; how do I know if it is serious?” That’s the first question that often comes to mind after you sustain a head injury.
There are about 1.7 million cases of traumatic brain injuries in the country each year. Meanwhile, 5.3 million people live with a disability in the United States alone.
Don’t leave yourself wondering if your head injury is that serious. Instead, learn the signs you’ve sustained a head injury.
Here are five signs you should look out for. By learning the signs of a serious head injury, you can get the help you need before it’s too late. Keep reading to discover the five signs you need to call 911 regarding a head injury.
After hitting your head, you might begin to notice slight changes in your personality.
This symptom is a major long-term symptom of a traumatic brain injury.
Your brain is a delicate organ. Any impact on your brain can change your behavior. However, how you change varies depending on the type of brain injury and where you sustained impact.
For example, let’s say you experienced a harsh blow to the frontal region of your brain.
This impact can make you more risk-prone than usual. You might also have a difficult time inhibiting certain behaviors you were able to control before your injury.
You might experience emotional changes as well. After a head injury, you might become less affectionate and more analytical. The injury might lead you to exhibit interests and behaviors you didn’t before your accident.
The long-term personality changes of a traumatic brain injury vary based on the person and accident. Even so, look at your personality changes when asking, “I hit my head; how do I know if it is serious?”
Changes in behavior, emotional disposition, or general outlook on life could all indicate your need to visit a doctor.
Following a traumatic brain injury, you’ll likely feel both mentally and physically exhausted. However, this general lethargy and exhaustion shouldn’t continue after you begin healing. If you still feel mentally and/or physically drained, it’s likely your brain injury requires a closer look.
You might notice changes in your sleep patterns as well.
Take note if your sleep schedule changes. Also, let your doctor know if you experience sluggishness or general apathy following your accident. These can all indicate long-term problems.
If you’re experiencing lethargy, you might experience faintness or balance problems as well. Patients often faint when blood isn’t able to properly flow to the brain. Lethargy and faintness often present together, along with increased sleeping hours.
These symptoms could all indicate you’re not receiving enough blood flow to your brain.
Traumatic brain injuries caused the deaths of 56,800 people in a single year. Of these, 2,529 were children. Don’t let your brain injury escalate to this point.
Some symptoms are acute, while others appear subtly. For example, you might start to experience blurred vision. Badly blurred vision following your accident is an obvious sign of a lingering problem.
Make sure to take note of when you experience this symptom.
Some patients ignore their symptoms, including subtle vision changes. However, it could indicate a sign of acute long-term problems caused by your brain injury.
Take note if you experience trouble reading up close. You might develop a limited long-range vision as well. Both could indicate long-term problems following your brain injury.
You should address any field-of-vision problems immediately. This symptom can potentially cause new problems in the future, including another accident.
After a traumatic brain injury, it’s normal to experience a few memory problems. However, this symptom shouldn’t linger beyond the normal recovery period.
Memory issues could indicate a more substantive injury than the one your doctor initially diagnosed.
Make a note if you begin to experience:
These are all indicators of a traumatic brain injury. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it could indicate potential long-term damage. As a result, you might have future difficulties when processing and retaining information.
You might begin to experience persistent headaches or dizziness as well.
Make sure to take notice if you experience these symptoms. While both are common, they’re also caused by a wide variety of factors. As a result, it’s easy for patients to dismiss these symptoms.
However, numbness around your head, dizziness, and/or headaches could indicate bigger problems. For example, these symptoms could mean you’ve experienced a change in the brain, nerve damage, or damage to the brainstem.
Let your neurologist know if you experience any of these symptoms.
“I hit my head; how do I know if it is serious?” involves a long list of answers. In addition to the four symptoms mentioned above, you might also develop scalp numbness.
Make a note if you experience lingering numbness or tingling after your head injury. This symptom might also appear as a sensation of pins and needles throughout different areas of the body.
If you experience this symptom, it could indicate a nerve disorder. The pins and needles sensation could also prove related to actual damage to certain areas of the brain. You’ll likely experience pins and needles after hitting your head more often on one side of the body.
This occurs because the brain splits control of the nervous system between hemispheres. If the damage occurred to the right side of the brain, you’ll likely feel pins and needles to the left side of your body.
If you’re asking, “I hit my head; how do I know if it is serious?” consider visiting a doctor. They can offer you peace of mind regarding your brain injury. If it is serious, they can remedy the issue before it gets worse.
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